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Pacific Terrace
610 Diamond Street
San Diego, CA 92109
858-581-3500

Pacific Terrace Home Page

September 2006

Welcome to www.weloveourlife.com. This is our page dedicated to our experiences while staying at the Pacific Terrace in San Diego, CA.


Accommodations Amenities Food Bar/Lounge Service Attractions Dining Nightlife Weather Tips

Accommodations

We stayed in one of the Presidential Suites, located in the exact center of the 3rd (top) floor. The room was definitely one of the nicer accommodations we have had – especially at a hotel. The décor was Tommy Bahama inspired, with dark, rich-grained wood and vibrant tropical prints.
The room itself was sort of a pie shape with the narrow portion opening up onto a circular balcony that overlooked the pool area and the beach and ocean beyond.
There was a kitchenette with a half-refrigerator and separate mini-bar (with surprisingly reasonably-priced items), accompanied by a dining table. The expansive king-size bed was sumptuous. There was a sitting area across from a 42” high-definition plasma TV. The double marble Jacuzzi was positioned so that one bather could see the large TV and another could watch a smaller flat-screen TV mounted above the vanity. There was a separate water closet for the toilet and the marble shower was separate. The hotel provided excellent spa amenities. Additionally, there is gated underground parking, which is appreciated in an area where parking is at a premium.

Inn Amenities

We view the friendly welcomes we received upon our arrival as a signature amenity of the hotel. The hotel features a nice pool area that was constantly being straightened up and supplied with fresh towels. There was an in-ground hot tub as well, but to our disappointment, it seemed to become a baby pool.

While we were staying at the hotel, a small company had taken over many of the hotel’s rooms for an annual trip for their employees and their employees’ families. Alas, the entire time we were there we had to deal with mostly drunken people from this group who weren’t doing a great job of supervising their children. The hot tub was in such bad shape after Friday night that it was unusable the following day – the water was visibly dirty – and no one did anything to improve it. We would return to the hotel, but would first make sure this company was not going to be there at the same time. The hotel let the group take over the outside area, drinking and barbequing until late at night.

Inn Food

The hotel did serve continental breakfast (free to guests) in a nice common room on the first floor, with a good selection of fruit, cereal, bread products, and juices. Iced tea and lemonade were available throughout the day.

Inn Bar/Lounge

The hotel did not have a bar but did serve complimentary wine to guests by the pool area every afternoon from 4-5 – a nice gesture.

Inn People/Service

The people were excellent, from the moment we checked in. If you needed something, they would help you with a smile, but never seemed to get in the way. The people who served the wine during the afternoon were especially gracious. You can have the most beautiful facility in the world and bad service can spoil it; that is not the case here. We would definitely return.

Area/Attractions

There is A LOT to do in San Diego. To get a good picture of the city, you need to spend at least a week there. We had both been to San Diego before, but a long time ago. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a lot of time – only two full days, to be exact. It was the end of a trip for us, so we chose one activity and spent the rest of the time relaxing.

We went to the San Diego Wild Animal Park, choosing a Friday over a Saturday because we thought it would be less busy. Indeed it was – we got there shortly after it opened and there were very few visitors at that time on a weekday when school was in session. We took the monorail ride, which meandered much more slowly than usual due to a lack of visitors that day. We got some good shots, but found ourselves getting a bit miffed at fellow tourists who insisted on constantly standing up and blocking views (my, but we get persnickety as we age!). We walked around a bit, had some lunch, and then settled in to watch the chimpanzee feeding. It was more interesting watching the chimpanzees when they weren’t being fed, as they simply played catch with park personnel. Note that San Diego Wild Animal Park is not located near the zoo – in fact, it is 35 miles north of the zoo in Escondido, CA. One thing we learned was that the temperature is sure warmer inland – initially we had settled for warmer shorts based on the cool ocean breeze at our hotel, and soon regretted that decision (it was warm!). This is most definitely a place to take kids. There are special events and tours that must be booked in advance – but be advised that they are expensive. A nice plus is the staff really seem to care a great deal about what they do.

Dining

Hennessy’s Irish Pub
Located one long block from the hotel (easy walking distance). We got in late Thursday night, and headed to this casual eatery for a quick bite. It was a fairly rowdy scene (this was around 9 p.m.) and we were probably some of the oldest people in there. We had the usual pub fare – a cheeseburger and chicken fingers – a drink, and left. It was fine if unremarkable. We returned to Hennessy’s on Saturday morning for brunch – a better experience than our evening meal. The service wasn’t quite as good but the food was better and it wasn’t as noisy.

Celadon – 540 University Avenue, San Diego, CA 619-297-8424
Celadon's Home Page
We went to Celadon – a Thai restaurant – on Friday evening with our friends Bob and Ditas and their 4 ½ month-old infant. Celadon is located in the Gaslamp district of San Diego. We wouldn’t have known this place existed – thanks to our friends for finding this gem. The restaurant has a classy look to it – dark wood furnishings, tan fabric hanging about, far eastern décor, and muted by soft lighting. We ordered appetizers – satay, golden shrimp – to split amongst us. Then we settled into the nicely balanced menu. We ordered so many things at the table that it is jumbled in our memory and we can’t do it justice by attempting to describe each dish. Suffice to say that everything we had was excellent, and this is the sort of place where you go with an open mind to experiment and share with your dining companions. They have a full liquor license and we had a glass of wine with dinner. Our infant companion Lily was extremely well-behaved and slept through dinner in her carseat on the seat of the banquette. If you like Thai food, this is a must. The service is subdued but flawless. Do reserve ahead of time.

Daddio’s – 4656 Mission Boulevard, San Diego, CA 858-270-4656
Daddio’s is located one long black from the hotel (easy walking distance). We chose this restaurant for our final meal in San Diego. It’s a hip little joint with elegant yet surprisingly comfortable décor. We chose a table away from the bar, but shortly thereafter the couple sitting on a very comfortable-looking sofa departed, and we stole their spot. Our food was delivered to the low table in front of us. Blame Lori – she waited too long to write this up and couldn’t find the receipt showing what we had for dinner. She does recall having the Live Lobster Bites for an appetizer, which was incredible. Daddio’s tends to be a bit spicy (which we love) and full of bold flavors. Think Mexican meets Cajun with a hint of Mediterranean. All in all, they have a very creative menu and it is well executed with very appealing presentation. We stayed to listen to the live act – Meliesa and Monkey – and really enjoyed them. We liked her so much we purchased a copy of her solo CD. One of the best parts was that the music was just the right level – not so loud that you couldn’t talk, yet enough to be present. Even the owner stopped over and chatted with us for a little bit. It was a great way to end our trip, and we recommend it. Good food, good drinks, and just good vibe overall.

Nightlife

Well, OK, we were ending our trip, so we didn’t exactly trip the light fantastic. We did at least get out to hear some live music (see Daddio’s above) but were back in our hotel room by 9. (Admittedly we could have stayed until the end, she was so entertaining.) This is a large city with plenty of nightlife. Go ahead and find it. We were content to hang out at the beach.

Weather

What can we say? San Diego is known for some of the best weather in the USA. It was beautiful for the short time we got to spend in Pacific Beach – warm, sunny, clear days and comfortable nights. September is really perfect there. It did get a little cool at night along the beach.

Tips/Suggestions

If you are going to San Diego, try to get more time there than we did. There is so much to see and do for all ages, the weather is gorgeous, and you’re also at the beach! Vacation destinations don’t get much better than this. We scheduled our trip in early September when we knew the kids would be in school. You can get discounts in the off-season. This area is where we usually put a tip about taking bug spray. Well, guess what? You don’t need bug spray in San Diego! Woo hoo!